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Paypal India, an online payment company, is seeing traction from smaller cities in the country, Nath Parameshwaran, Director, Corporate Affairs, PayPal India told Entrepreneur Media in an exclusive interaction. “We have been able to democratize trade. Our exporters who use PayPal now come from about 1500-odd cities, towns and villages,” says Parameshwaran.

“There is a good balance between Bharat and Metros. What is exciting is digital infrastructure in India and better connectivity is making it really easy to go international. We are also seeing an increasing number of women entrepreneurs who are jumping onto this bandwagon of what we call inclusive digital trade. It is no longer confined to organizing large businesses from individuals to a large business. Everybody can participate and not just sell local, but also global. We are happy to play a role to create the trust between global consumers and this merchant from India and carry out this trade in a very trusted and in a very convenient manner. So it’s very exciting to see how it has kind of spread over the years.”

MSMEs the backbone

Apart from big businesses, the company also caters to small and micro businesses within the MSMEs. “We have got freelancers and services exporters, small value. Individual tutors who may be doing part-time or full-time work, taking tuitions for Middle-east, UK, Europe, and US students. Then we have got wellness, teaching Yoga, music, fine arts. Including the biggest component being IT and IT’s guys. So there would be SaaS platforms, a smart set of engineers who would actually be building search engine optimization and marketing campaigns for smaller firms overseas or maintaining a website for SMB companies in the US. Or helping them by managing cyber security and making sure that 24*7 support is provided.

“So, services export is India’s strength. And it’s reflected in our portfolio too So a large number of them are services export led by ITES, Edutech, and wellness. Travel of course remains to be the mainstay. For example, foreign tourists come and want to do river rafting in Ganges. So they have options to go to an online travel company where they can book a whole package and go. Also, there are small guys who have put up a page on Instagram where foreign tourists can contact them and they say we accept PayPal. The consumer will say I am happy with the price and everything. Do you guys accept PayPal? So this is the broad spectrum of services.”

The company also focuses on goods-led exports. “Everybody from high end Sabyasachis of the world selling wedding attire to our NRI diaspora to home furnishing, handicrafts, carpets and artisan-led products. Some of them are resellers, which means they buy from small sellers and then aggregate and sell for some of them are individual sellers who manufacture it Right and then offer it to an international platform. So what we have been able to do is really democratize trade for the small businesses. We have broken this barrier that you have to a big business house with export wherewithal and sitting near a port.Whether it is Chennai, we have broken that mold. You don’t need to be a traditional exporter. Either you can sit in Sikkim or sit in Sri Ganganagar and export your goods and services to 400 million users and 200 markets of PayPal.”

Continuous growth during Covid time

While it was a tough time during Covid, the company continued to grow as more consumers came online and looked for goods and services. “Digital infrastructure stayed intact during Covid time. While goods had problems with physical movement, services didn’t have such issues. During Covid time, we actually saw a marked increase in wellness. People were using their time for learning yoga, music lessons to destress, learning new skills. EduTech, WellnessTech grew very well for us. We are surprised that we continued to grow. And that has remained pretty much steady post Covid as well,” shared Parameshwaran.

“There has been no dip in any sector. The goods sector has come back now with the shipping problems all being eased. It also showed a decent standing up post Covid as well,” he added.

Focus on digitizing experiences

Besides facilitating payments, giving access to the market and access to trusted customers for exporters, the company is also focusing on digitizing their experiences.”When exporters sell, to recognise it as export with their bankers and claim government benefit, a certificate is given by our bankers. When we started our journey, we used to give it on paper. The process was cumbersome and used to take seven days. We realized it’s a problem for our exporters. So we digitized the whole process and made it available online. Now our banker generates all the certificates digitally in line with Digital India, and it is available on the PayPal portal. The exporter just needs to log in, select the period for which he needs the certificates and click a button and a PDF document is ready for him to download,” says Parameshwaran.

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